The latter part of this decade has seen a steep incline of influencers on social media. It seems like everybody who is good with social media and people has been minting money by being an influencer. Businesses caught on fast and started exploiting this dynamic medium for marketing purposes, and discovered that it was actually proving better for their bottom lines and awareness.
The history of influencer marketing isn’t as recent as you would have thought. The first time a company is said to have used influencers was in 1931, and this marketing tactic was practiced by none other than the fizzy drinks giant Coca Cola. Though modern influencer marketing is perhaps entirely different, it is no less profitable.
Today, it is said that companies are making an average of $7 on every $1 spent on influencer marketing strategies. More and more businesses are choosing to spend on influencer marketing, pushing traditional modes of marketing and advertising further and further out of the market.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Though millennials are no stranger to influencer marketing anymore, let us break it down for people who are not avid users of the internet or social media.
Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing where people with large followings on social media apps such as Instagram and Facebook endorse, review, and place products for a certain price. These people aren’t exactly celebrities; they are regular people who have some degree of social influence and are admired or followed by many. Brands sign contracts with them to produce relevant content that could help the influencer market the product to their followers.
Types and Niches of Influencers
There are millions of influencers on the internet today. Some do promotions of all kinds and maintain general pages and feeds, while others have chosen their niches and only promote products and services relevant to that niche.
For example, there are countless makeup influencers that cosmetic companies can market through, food bloggers who are a real asset to restaurants, and fitness experts who market for gyms, fitness products, and diets. Others specialize in gadgets, cars, and almost every imaginable thing out there.
Their followings are thus concentrated around people who genuinely have an interest in what they post about, and are the niche that has the highest possibility of turning into actual customers.
Benefits of Influencer Marketing to Businesses
Influencer marketing, though relatively new and still untapped by many, is taking over the world. It is cheaper than various other forms of marketing, has enormous returns on investment for businesses, and generates sales. Through influencers, businesses have the chance to reach very specific groups of people and tap into that market effectively. It helps generate more traffic and high-quality leads than traditional advertising methods.
Another factor that makes influencer marketing so great is the ‘trust factor.’ Though people are generally distrustful of advertisements by brands, they have a certain level of confidence that their favorite influencer will not recommend and promote something dishonestly. If the influencer says a certain foundation is great for Asian skin, an Asian girl will accept the influencer’s verdict as the final word. Influencers generally do tend to only promote high-quality products that they have personally used because they will lose out on followers if they blindly put forward low-quality products and dishonest reviews.
Influencer marketing is only growing, and it has the potential to completely take over all other forms of marketing in the future. Businesses that are still uncertain about exploring this medium should reconsider their marketing tactics and get on the influencer marketing train!